I haven’t done a homeschooly post in a while and honestly, we’ve had a difficult year, but we are trucking along. In the beginning of the year I had ideas of how things were going to go, but as the bible verse says, “many are the plans of a man’s heart but the Lord directs his steps” or something like that… God had His own plans for this year. It is hard when you give Him the eraser and watch your dayplanner get full of those little messy eraser leftover pieces, but I’m still finding JOY that He’s in control and the more I watch Him burn away the dross, the more I realize I don’t WANT to be the one in control, nor have I ever really BEEN in control.
Oh, the things you learn being homeschooled by Jesus. Homeschool moms are learning just as much, but not always the same things as their kiddos. Don’t believe me? Try to homeschool all the way through high school. You just wait and see what God teaches you.
I’ve found this past year that I ALWAYS end up coming back to a list – in a spiral – for high school lesson plans. The busier I get, the less fluff I have time for, and a spiral notebook is pretty SIMPLE. Oh, I still have my teacher planner, but I’m using that just to keep MYSELF in order right now – with my list, menus for the week, appointments we can’t miss, etc.
I’ve also found that for me, it’s easiest to plan a week at a time with an overarching goal of what I want to accomplish for the year planned out at the beginning of the school year. So in other words, I plan out the courses of study and curriculum we will use in August and then I block out the amount of work I’ll need to cover each week, and then I flesh the details out with weekly planning that includes page numbers, topics, and actual assignments (all on that low-tech spiral I mentioned).
To my surprise, through all the crazy school year we’ve had this year, we have managed to get school done for the most part. Good thing, too – since my teens want to graduate next May.
My weekly assignment lists usually look something like this… (this is the one for this week, for an example):
Week 21-22 Biblioplan (we added this spine in February and I love it)/Week 34 of school…
Topics: Africa/America Before Columbus
Bible: Chapter 2 of Purpose Driven Life, Adult Bible Class at church, Bible reading for Biblioplan as assigned (this week was Psalm 84-93 and Mark 1-6), Teen Bible Study (we missed this week)
PE Activity: (I leave this blank for them to list what they do and leave it up to them)
Health: (I don’t write this on the list but we are always learning more about nutrition and health weekly as a life study – this week we read an article on healthy fats and took a quiz. I get the free magazines at Natural Grocers and often discuss the articles with them and we try to eat healthy and live as healthy as possible)
Citizenship: Last Teen Court / Picture Night
Science: Physics Reading, airplane pilot training for my 18 year old (but this weekend he’s not going)
English III: Check out 8 sources (4 can be web-related) for essay, thesis to mom by end of week, Library trip (Kaden has chosen to write about Dante’s Inferno – comparing and contrasting biblical theology and Dante’s impressions), Finish reading CS Lewis “The Discarded Image” and tag pages for essay (also doubles as history/literature)
Math: 4 lessons/tests in VideoText Algebra II
Delight-based/Charlotte Mason: Nature Study / Art / Writing (I leave this for the kid to decide and leave space for them to fill out what they did and circle one of the three things or more than one)
History: Literature suggestions from Biblioplan and additions from a friend who lent us some good books (those are the best kind of friends), This week’s Biblioplan reading is chapters 21-22 of the text plus Lessons 45, 46, 74, 78 and 82 of Mystery of History II, and Lessons 9 of MOH III, also doing a map of Africa for their history binder, and catching up on previous MOH activities from past weeks. There are also a couple of other books that go along with Biblioplan like Famous Men of the Middle Ages/Renaissance and Usborne World History. I think they had Marco Polo to read about this week and a few pages of Usborne to go along with it. You could also add in Story of the World, but we don’t.
Culture: Eating African Food (Ethiopian), Learning about African Music, Watching Netflix about Africa, Looking at African Art, Seeing African costumes and dancing, Reading African lore
Lifeskills/Home Ec: Always learning in the kitchen, helping with the younger siblings, learning responsibility – this week we need to get oil changes, cars washed and vacuumed, lawn mowed, laundry caught up on after our trip out of town, and work on getting paperwork done
Hospitality/Friendship: Cards for graduating friends, Weekend plans with friends
And if we leave our spiral notebook with the school list on the table without supervision, we end up with Picasso on the pages. I love this little “wind up toy” by my youngest. He’s 4. It is a full time job getting school done, doing Kinder and preschooly things with the little guys, trying to cook healthy, and taking photos on the weekend. If you miss me in here, don’t worry – I’ll be checking in again soon!